Digital Signature Certificates for DGFT (Foreign Trade)
A DGFT Digital Signature is required to digitally sign any documents in electronic format or for transactions being performed through a web-browser on the DGFT website or portal. It is mainly used by the EXIM (Exporters & Importers) community registered with the DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) in India.
Export and Import Organizations (EXIM organizations) can apply for licenses online which means that they can also file accompanying documents electronically on the DGFT website. Since a Digital Signature Certificate ensures the authenticity of the document, DGFT has mandated the use of Digital Signature Certificates with all electronic documents uploaded on the DGFT site. This means that every EXIM Organisation needs to necessarily have a Digital Signature Certificate for transactions related to the DGFT website. On validating the identity of the sender, the authenticity of the documents and validity of the DSC, DGFT then processes the documents for license issuance. In addition to convenience, online submission of applications on the DGFT website also mean a 50% reduction in license fee for EXIM Organisations.
Organizations can prevent fraudulent practices such as identity thefts by filing bills of entry using a Digital Signature Certificate. If an organization is filing documents through Custom House Agents, it is important that all documents filed are accompanied by a DSC.
A Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate is essential for any organization seeking an Import or an Export Licence that needs to be registered in the name of one representative authorized to represent the organization.
Since a Digital Signature Certificate is recognized by the legal system, all documents submitted using a Digital Signature Certificate is considered on par with physically signed documents, and also attract benefits endowed upon them through the Indian Information Technology Act 2000.
Advantages of DGFT Digital Signatures
A DGFT Digital Signature is issued to Organizations or individuals (any person from an EXIM Org. who is authorized to transact with DGFT on behalf of the Org) who have obtained a valid IEC (Importer Exporter Code) code. A DGFT Digital Signature can be used to apply for licenses electronically with the DGFT and digitally sign online license applications. In fact, it is mandatory to have this DSC to able to communicate with DGFT online.
DGFT has extended attractive monetary incentives amounting to 50 % waiver on the license fee for those Exporters and Importers using DGFT Digital Signature Certificates. Advantages of a DGFT Digital Signature includes reduced paperwork, reduced costs, reduced turnaround time and convenience. Moreover logging into the DGFT Portal using a DGFT Digital signature is far more secure than using an ID and Password.
NOTE: Signature of the applicant should be in Blue Ink only. All the documents have to be self-attested and also Gazetted Officer or Bank Manager or Head Post Master – Seal and Signature along with the attestation officer Name and Contact number is mandatory on all documents.